Redrawn NY congressional map sparks Democrat infighting, AOC calls on DCCC Chair Maloney to resign

Powerful Maloney intends to run in newly redrawn district represented by freshman Rep. Mondaire Jones
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AOC
Rep. Ocasio-Cortez on October 26, 2021
(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

New York Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is calling on the leader of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, House Democrats' campaign arm, to resign over his plans to run for reelection in a district largely represented by a freshman House Democrat.

The divide is just part of a major uproar among House Democrats that started Monday with the release of a draft of a redrawn New York congressional map by a court-appointed map-maker that has squeezed several incumbents into overlapping districts.

DCCC Chairman Sean Patrick Maloney, who now represents the state's 18th Congressional District, said after the release of the map that he would run in the new 17th District, which includes the upstate village of Cold Spring where he has a home.

However, the district includes 73% of the district now being represented by freshman Democrat Rep. Mondaire Jones.

In response, Ocasio-Cortez, a leader in the House's progressive caucus, called on Maloney to resign, calling his move that appears to muscle out Jones "hypocritical" and "terrible." 

"Given the resources that he has at his helm, it creates a conflict of interest," she told Politico. "If he’s going to enter in a primary and challenge another Democratic member, then he should step aside from his responsibilities at the DCCC."

She also called Maloney's decision to vacate the new 18th district "particularly shameful as a member of Democratic leadership, especially as the leadership of the DCCC, who asks all of us to make sacrifices in one way or another, who asks progressives to make sacrifices on their stances in order to preserve a majority."

A judge is set Friday to make a final approval of the map. 

The map has been a big question mark since the state's Supreme Court recently struck it down as an illegal gerrymander.

The new map also pits Manhattan-centric Democrat Reps. Jerry Nadler and Carolyn Maloney, two House stalwarts, against each other, which created a huge buzz Monday on Capitol Hill.

Jones will now be forced to decide if he wants to run against Maloney, or New York Democrat Rep. Jamal Bowman – an ideological ally and fellow black freshman member – as a result of the new map.

Jones told Politico that, while he will not make an official decision until final maps are released.

"Sean Patrick Maloney did not even give me a heads-up before" prior to making his announcement. "And I think that tells you everything you need to know about Sean Patrick Maloney."